Text & photo: Veera Heinonen
The screening of the record-breaking Finnish film war film Unknown Soldier was sold out on Sunday at Glasgow Film Festival. The film was well-received by the festival crowd.
“I’m very impressed with the scale of it. Everyone I’ve spoken to have loved this film,” said the Edinburgh based casting director Orla O’Connor.
Four actors from the cast joined the screening in Glasgow. Hannes Suominen, Jussi Vatanen, Arttu Kapulainen and Juho Milonoff were happy for the warm welcome the film received.
“There were bursts of laughter and the audience seemed very focused during the film”, Hannes Suominen told.
“I got the feeling that Scots as a small nation could identify themselves with us Finns and understood why we fought this war. I don’t think they are very familiar with our history but the questions they asked us afterwards were the same ones the Finnish audience would ask”, said Jussi Vatanen.
At the Q&A session after the film the actors were asked if their grandparents had told them their stories about the war. The actors also got to explain the Finnish military service in which all men go to army. Juho Milonoff amused the audience by telling them that as he didn’t go to army, it’s only apt that his character in the film is equipped with a bow and arrow.
Unknown Soldier was shown at the Glasgow Film Festival with the support of The Finnish Institute in London. The 2017 film directed by Aku Louhimies is the third film adaptation of the classic novel by Väinö Linna. The novel came out in 1954 and is based on his own experiences during the Continuation War (1941–1944) between Finland and Soviet Union.